NCIS: Attention, the text below contains spoilers from the 19×04 episode of NCIS!
Actor Mark Harmon, who has played the lead character Leroy Gibbs since the beginning of NCIS, left the series after 4 episodes of season 19. The information was confirmed by showrunner Steven Binder, who commented on the departure and the relevance of his legacy — but didn’t rule out a return of the character in the future. Broadcaster CBS, however, has yet to reveal whether he will be able to reprise the role at some point.
“As executive producer and friend, Mark [Harmon] will remain an integral part of the show. [Our focus] has always been to stay true to the characters, a fact that guides the stories we tell and the characters’ directions. Regarding Gibbs’ future, as longtime fans of the show have noticed over the years, never leave Leroy Jethro Gibbs out,” Binder said in a statement released by Deadline.
Gibbs Farewell to NCIS
In NCIS, Harmon played Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a former Marine who led a special agents unit charged with investigating crimes related to the US Navy. The 19×04 episode “Great Wide Open” was set in Alaska, with Gibbs and Timothy McGee (Sean Murray) going to solve a murder case. At the end of the plot, the then protagonist decided to stay in place in search of peace.
Behind the scenes, Harmon’s departure from the drama has long been the subject of discussion and was thought to take place gradually, with appearances ever shorter. Although the production has not made it clear who will now lead the investigation team, FBI agent Alden Park (played by Gary Cole) is expected to take over — given the prominence he has gained in recent years, recently promoted to the regular cast.
Thus, the actor’s departure is another important farewell to the main cast, since the debut of the long-lived series in 2003. Before him, Michael Weatherly (Anthony DiNozzo), Cote de Pablo (Ziva David) and Pauley Perrette (Abby Sciuto) left their roles over the years.
In Brazil, NCIS is shown by AXN and has some seasons available on Paramount+.